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Cost of living payments hit bank accounts from today

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Millions of low income UK households will receive £301 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from today.

The payments will start being rolled out today (25 April), up until 17 May.

However, payments made during this window will be staggered over the next couple of weeks meaning not everyone entitled to receive a payment will receive it today.

The £301 is the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for households on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, in 2023/24.

The three payments are for slightly different amounts to make it easier to track who has received the money.

There will also be further payments worth £150 for eligible disabled people and £300 for pensioners due later this year, meaning the most vulnerable can receive up to £1,350 in help from the Government.

The cost of living payments will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. The payment reference for bank accounts will be DWP COL, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.

Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “These payments will give a financial boost to more than eight million households as we continue to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable, while the best way we can protect people from high costs is to halve inflation by the end of this year.”

Payment schedule for tax credit claimants

The payment dates are different for families claiming tax credits, but no other means-tested benefits. These payments will be made from 2 to 9 May.

HMRC will pay eligible tax credit claimants automatically and the money will be paid into the bank account where claimants already receive their tax credits. The payment will show as ‘HMRC COLS’ in customers’ bank and building society accounts, so that they know the money is cost of living support.

For joint claimants, where one claimant receives working tax credit and the other claimant receives child tax credit, payments will be made into the same bank account as the child tax credit.

The Government confirms all cost of living payments will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.